By Tim Ryan

NORFOLK, VA — The Growth and Opportunity (GO) Virginia Region 5 Council announced new members to its leadership structure by appointing several new members and naming a new vice-chair.

The new members joining the council include:

  • Casey Roberts, Executive Director of New Horizons Regional Education Centers
  • Bob Howard, Chief Investment Officer of Gold Key|PHR
  • Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President & Community Development Manager at Truist
  • Sarah Jane Kirkland, Associate Vice President for Corporate Partnerships at Old Dominion University
  • Sharon Goodwyn, Counsel at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
  • Aubrey Layne, Executive Vice President of Governance and External Affairs at Sentara Healthcare

Meanwhile, Council member Lynn Taylor, President of Zel Technologies, has been appointed Vice Chair, succeeding Anne Conner, President of Public Finance and Community Investment at TowneBank.

“We are excited to have these proven leaders regionally and in their fields join the GO VA Region 5 Council,” said Tom Frantz, Chair of the Council. “I look forward to working with the new members and working more closely with Lynn as we lead the Council.”

GO Virginia, an innovative economic development initiative encourages collaboration between private industry, higher education, and local government in each region to produce results that grow and diversify the regional economies and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Nancy L. Grden, President & CEO of Hampton Roads Executive Roundtable, expressed her enthusiasm for the new Council members, saying, “We congratulate our new Council members for their nomination and strong interest to serve, and we look forward to their participation in supporting regional economic development initiatives.”

The nine GO VA Regional Councils across Virginia are tasked with identifying economic opportunities, needs, and challenges and establishing priorities that can be addressed through regional collaboration.

GO Virginia Region 5, led by Chairman Tom Frantz and Vice Chair Lynn Taylor, comprises 16 cities and counties located in Hampton Roads and Virginia’s Eastern Shore. It is represented by 28 diverse business and community leaders.

The Hampton Roads Executive Roundtable, established in 2023, represents the Hampton Roads region and serves as the support organization for Region 5 of Virginia’s innovative GO Virginia program. The Roundtable focuses on improving the region’s economic growth and competitiveness through job creation, incorporation of innovation and entrepreneurship into the economic base, and strategic leadership through collaboration among economic development partners.